It’s a bit like a slugger crediting Barry Bonds for help with his homerun swing. An anesthesiology journal has retracted a 2018 paper that cited three retracted papers by Yoshitaka Fujii, the record-holder for most retractions by a single author.
It is interesting that some are calling for full cancellation. While we generally support the work of Retraction Watch, in this case we think what’s proposed here is a bad idea. It is better to have the work marked for what it is, flawed and with a detailed retraction notice, in the public record so others may learn.
The article in question, “Priming with different doses of Metoclopramide preceded by tourniquet alleviates propofol induced pain: a comparative study with lidocaine,” appeared in 2018 in the Egyptian Journal of Anaesthesia (EJA). Three of the citations were of papers by Fujii, although the article had other failings, too.
Those citations caught the attention of a reader, who wrote letter to the editor in 2019. The author duly noted that one of the Fujii references — which we’ll call zombie papers — had been retracted in 2013, while the other two had been retracted in 2018, but after the authors had submitted their manuscript to the EJA.